Alshaya International Trading Co., the leading international retail franchise operator, has announced the official opening of the Alshaya Retail Academy on the campus of Princess Nora Bint AbdulRahman University in Riyadh, in a step that helps more Saudi women become trained in retail skills and helps them access employment in the retail sector.
The opening was attended by His Excellency Ahmad Bin Saleh Al-Humaidan, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Development, and His Excellency Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Al-Ohali, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Educational Affairs, who were also taken on a tour around the new facility. The opening event was co-hosted by Mr Mohammed Abdulaziz Alshaya, the Executive Chairman of Alshaya International Trading Co., and Her Excellency Dr Huda Bint Mohammed Al-Ameel, Rector of the Princess Nora Bint AbdulRahman University.
The Alshaya Retail Academy first opened its doors in Riyadh in December 2012, with two further Academies openings in Jeddah and Dammam reinforcing Alshaya’s commitment to create training and employment opportunities in KSA. The Academy is recognised as a leading example of how the public and private sector can work together to mutual benefit.
The move of the Riyadh Academy to a larger site at the Princess Nora Bint AbdulRahman University campus is part of an agreement that was signed last year between Alshaya and the University. The agreement covers three main areas - training, recruitment, and investment – with the goal of enhancing the skills of Saudi women and improving their career prospects in the dynamic Saudi retail sector.
Moving the Academy to the new location will allow it to expand the scope of its operations, both increasing the number of trainees it can accept and giving students of the University access to additional modules in practical retail skills, such as store management, customer service, communication and sales. The Academy will continue to run training programmes for holders of high school certificates as well as university graduates.
Alshaya will also operate a recruitment office on campus to help female students have better access to employment opportunities at the company’s 800+ stores across the Kingdom. Alshaya can offer Saudi women a broad range of career opportunities in retail, which is one of the fastest-growing industries in the Kingdom.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Alshaya said: “We are very pleased with the success of the Alshaya Retail Academy and are delighted to be expanding our offer. The Academy concept has proved to be a great success, helping aspirational women to acquire retail skills, and offering them access to careers that will fulfill their future ambitions. We are very grateful to our Saudi partners for giving us this opportunity to support more Saudi women.”
The Alshaya Retail Academy was established in partnership with the Ministry of Labour’s Human Resources Development Fund. It provides Saudi women with specialised training on retail skills, prepares them to join the retail market, and offers them guaranteed jobs when they graduate. To date, more than 1,700 Saudi women have joined Alshaya to work in retail stores after graduating from the Academy. Many Academy graduates have since developed into management positions.
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